Real Life Somerville Police Stories: Patrick MATHIEU (OUI Drugs)

On Wednesday, 12/12/2018, I (Officer Devin Schneider) was in full uniform while assigned to marked cruiser East-1 during the 4pm-12am shift, along with my partner, Officer Kevin Goulart. the following report is a summary of the events that I witnessed, as they pertain to incident #18073158:

At approximately 6:00pm, Officer Goulart and I were dispatched to 8x Broadway (a public way in the city Somerville) for an unrelated call for service. The weather clear, around 28 degrees Fahrenheit, and the sun had completely set. As we arrived on scene, I observed a Black Acura RSX (MA registration xxxx) parked at an odd angle, (front end angled in) in front of 8x Broadway. The Acura was running and the headlights were on. The spot that the Aura was parked in had a sign posted as a police vehicle only spot, as it was in front of the East Somerville Police Substation.

At first glance I did not see anyone occupying the vehicle. Officer Goulart approached the vehicle with the intention of citing it for restricted parking, when he directed my attention to the fact that it was occupied by a male who appeared asleep in the driver’s seat, with his seat reclined back. I approached the operator, who was identified as Patrick Mathieu, the registered owner of the vehicle. When Mathieu rolled down his window to speak to Officers, I detected the strong odor of burnt Marijuana. I observed that Mathieu’s eyes were bloodshot, he appeared wide eyed, his pupils appeared dilated, he seemed disoriented, and was slow to respond to questions. I asked Mathieu when the last time he smoked Marijuana, and he stated a few hours ago. When I asked Mathieu to define a few hours, he stated he smoked Marijuana 4 hours ago. Additionally, I observed what appeared to be an open, half empty bottle of whiskey stashed in the passenger’s side door. I did NOT smell the odor of alcohol.

Mathieu was asked to exit the vehicle to perform some road side sobriety assessments, and he complied. As it was cold out, I advised Mathieu to retrieve his winter jacket from the car, which he did. I would respectfully note that I am certified in Field Sobriety Testing, Advanced Roadside Impairment Detection Enforcement, and I am a certified Drug Recognition Expert (DRE #29733.) The area where the tests were conducted was on a flat sidewalk, clear from any apparent defects, well lit by street lights. Prior to administering any of the tests I asked Mathieu if he wore glasses or contacts and he stated no. Mathieu was wearing white sneakers and I asked if he was comfortable conducting the assessments in the sneakers, to which he said he was. I asked Mathieu if he had any medical conditions or physical defects that might prevent him from taking the assessments, and he stated no. I explained and demonstrated each of the assessments, and asked Mathieu if he understood each assessment that he conducted, to which he said yes. I asked Mathieu if he took and drugs or medication other than the Marijuana, and he stated no. Mathieu had no resting Nystagmus, his eyes were equally tracking, and his pupils were equal in size. Officer Chris Fusco (East-4) arrived on scene to assist.

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus
I used my finger as a stimulus from the eye assessment.
I observed lack of smooth pursuit in both the left and right eyes.
I observed distinct and sustained Nystagmus at maximum deviation in both the left and right eyes.
I observed Nystagmus prior to 45 degrees both the left eye and right eyes.

Lack of Convergence
I observed lack of convergence in both eyes. When the stimulus came within 2″ of the bridge of his noses, his eyes did not converge and stayed centered.

Modified Romberg Balance
During the assessment, Mathieu was asked to estimate the passage of 30 seconds. 45 seconds were estimated as 30 seconds by Mathieu. I observed a front to front and side to side sway of about 2″. I observed Mathieu to have eye tremors when he closed his eyes.

Walk and Turn
An imaginary line was used for this assessment. Mathieu maintained the correct starting position without losing his balance, and did not start the assessment too soon. During the first series of steps, I observed Mathieu miss his heel to toe 3 times, raise his arms 3 times, and walk nine steps. Mathieu performed the turn as described. On the return nine steps, Mathieu did not raise his arms for balance, miss his heel to toe, and he walked 10 steps back. During the entire assessment, Mathieu did not stop walking, or step off line. Mathieu did not count his steps out loud as instructed.

One Leg Stand
During the assessment, Mathieu kept his left foot planted while raising his right foot. I observed Mathieu drop his right foot 4 times, each time restarting his count. Mathieu swayed while balancing 2 times, and used his arms for balance 3 times. The assessment is meant to go for 30 second (Officer Fusco timed using his watch.) Mathieu never counted past 10 seconds, and was unable to keep his foot elevated for longer than 10 seconds.

Finger to Nose
1st attempt: Mathieu touched his left finger to his left cheek, not the tip of his nose as instructed.
2nd attempt: Mathieu touched his right finger to his right cheek, not the tip of his nose as instructed.
3rd attempt: Mathieu hovered his left finger over his left cheek, not touching the tip of his nose as instructed.
4th attempt: Mathieu hovered his right finger over his right cheek, not touching the tip of his nose as instructed.
5th attempt: Mathieu hovered his right finger over his right cheek, not touching the tip of his nose as instructed.
6th attempt: Mathieu hovered his left finger over his left cheek, not touching the tip of his nose as instructed.

Portable Breathalyzer Test
Mathieu consented to blow into a portable breathalyzer testing (PBT) device. The readout of the PBT showed that Mathieu had a blood alcohol content level of 0.00.

Based upon the aforementioned assessments, I believed Mathieu to be operating his vehicle impaired under the influence of drugs. I placed Mathieu under arrest, handcuffing him in a manner consistent with my training (double locked, checked for tightness.) I read Mathieu his rights pursuant to Miranda from a pre-printed card. Mathieu was transported back to the Somerville Police Station in prisoner transport unit-200, operated by Officer Michael Cleary. At the station, he was booked in the usual manner by the Commanding Officer, Lt. William Rymill.

Mathieu consented to a drug evaluation post booking, which was conducted by Drug Recognition Expert Officer Chris Fusco. At the completion of the evaluation, Officer Fusco informed me of his opinion that Patrick Mathieu was under the influence of Central Nervous System Depressants, and Cannabis, and was unable to operate a vehicle safely. I collected a urine sample from Mathieu which will be placed into evidence in the usual manner. Officer Goulart will be entering a small bag of substance he believed to be Marinjuana found during a search of the Acura (see Officer Goulart’s supplemental report) into evidence as well.

I will be charging Mathieu with the following violation of M.A. General Law:
Ch. 90/ S. 24 Operating Under The Influence of Drugs

Respectfully submitted,

Officer Devin Schneider
Badge #295

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